Can you sue a physician for causing a pain pill addiction?

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Can you sue a physician for causing a pain pill addiction?

I had a gall bladder attack; a severe one. The surgeon said I needed surgery immediately. The problem was that I didn’t have $10,000 up front for the operation so she medicated me for 2 years on Percocet. Inow have cyclic nausea and vomiting. While I was on the pain killer, I had 2 bowel obstructions. She finallydid the surgery. Should I speak with a medical malpractice attorney? 

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Nevada

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In order to prove medical malpractice, you would have to prove negligence on the part of the doctor.  Negligence means failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable physician in the same community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances). You will need a second opinion from another doctor.  Based on what you have described, it does NOT appear to be negligence on the part of the doctor.  Were you warned of the side effects of Percocet and/or the possibility of becoming addicted?

If you were warned of the side effects of Percocet, the doctor would have a defense of assumption of the risk.  Assumption of the risk means you recognized and understood the danger and voluntarily chose to encounter it by taking Percocet for an extended period to control pain instead of having surgery immediately due to the cost. 

 


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